The smartphone market recorded a decrease in shipments in 2019, and this affected the refurbished segment aswell. According to Counterpoint Research, manufacturers sold 137 million refurbished devices (9% of total sales), which is a 1% decrease on an annually basis. Markets like Europe, China, and the United States saw a decrease, while India, the LATAM region and Africa saw an increase.

Jeff Fieldhack, Research Director at Counterpoint, unveiled this is the very first time in four years the refurbished market has declined for the total calendar year. The trend is changing because so many consumers choose to go for a low priced new smartphone and there are tons right now at key markets like the United States and Europe. There are also facets like a sluggish economy and the lack of proper ecosystem for refurbishers to make a profit.

These types of devices continue to be preferred in underpenetrated markets like the LATAM (Latin America) region where you could have reasonably limited device at an affordable price. However, growth in such markets will be heavily impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic and we have to expect an additional decline in 2020.

Refurbished smartphones usually are new devices which can be eventually came ultimately back due to malfunction, which is later repaired. The difference from a used smartphone comes from the fact the manufacturer is testing and restoring the handset to factory-standard operational condition.

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